"People are everything”

Discussion in 'Politics' started by FryDaddyJr, May 11, 2020.

  1. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Member

    At 91-years-old, Bob Moore, the founder and president of "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);">Bob’s Red Mill, has seen a lot.

    He was a child during the Great Depression and a teenager during World War II. He started managing a department in a warehouse at 16 years old. He served in the army. He ran a gas station in Los Angeles, California. He sold that gas station and bought another gas station, a tow truck, and a garage near a ski resort outside of Mammoth Lake. An unseasonably snowless winter deterred tourists and left him flat broke. He picked up the pieces. He kept learning. He discovered a book about mills, and spent countless hours studying 18th-century granite millstones. He raised three sons with his wife, Charlee. The family pinched pennies to open a small flour mill and grain store in the 1970s.

    After another decade of detours and iterations — including a stint at seminary school and a fire that burned the mill to the ground — Charlee and Bob Moore’s business eventually became "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);">Bob’s Red Mill, the brand of healthy, unprocessed, whole grains sold in nearly every grocery store in the U.S., Canada, and in more than 80 other countries around the world. The company employs over 600 people.

    In today’s state of uncertainty, Moore’s familiarity with the ups and downs of life brings him solace.

    “I’ve had some difficult times in my life, but it gives me a perspective when things are good; how precious they are when they’re good,” Moore says.

    Still, he’s not immune to the stress we’re all feeling. As we talk, he pauses for a moment and apologizes.

    “I’m sorry,” he says. “I think I’m feeling the pressure of the world we’re living in right now and how unusual it is and how it’s changed so many things. It makes me feel bad. I guess that’s a pretty typical way of feeling right now.”

    But Moore has a job to do.

    His company isn’t slowing down — and neither is he. In the last few weeks, Bob’s Red Mill has even hired new team members to meet the "); background-size: 1px 1px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px);">soaring demand for baking ingredients like flour and yeast.

    “Our business is wide open, we’re running 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Moore says. “All our machinery is running, grinding, and packaging. Some 24 mills are running just all the time. We’re having quite a time trying to keep up with it. It’s challenging — but fun!”

    “People are home baking and cooking,” he continues. “For people who have kids, it’s a great time for them to give a little workout to the kitchen as well as to their relationships in their family by baking something. There’s nothing like whole-grain foods for every meal of the day to make you healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

    Moore has been leading Bob’s Red Mill for over 40 years. I asked him to share his perspective on building trust with employees, creating a family-like culture, and leading a company during uncertain times. His answers have been lightly edited and condensed. Nancy Garner, Moore’s assistant, also shares her thoughts.

    How do you approach building culture at Bob’s Red Mill?

    Bob Moore: People are everything. I think you have to put people above money, even though money’s very important and you have to have money to keep your people. The love of money and the pursuit of it can get people in trouble.

    I formed my own opinions about how to keep my employees happy. Small things, like we always celebrate birthdays, and I try my very best to keep acquainted with my people.

    We had dinner parties for everybody when we had 20 people. It wasn’t so hard when you ended up with 40 people around the table. Keeping acquainted with my people when it was small was easy.

    But the biggest thing that challenged me was success. At the end of the months, the end of the quarter, the end of the year, I had money left overprofit. That profit technically was mine since I was the one that put all the money into the business in the beginning.

    I sat down with two things: myself, and the thought of, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Matthew. 7:12.

    It is a statement that has motivated and moved me. I cannot argue with it. Most people, quietly, with their unfortunate love of money, argue with it all the time, and bypass it as quickly as they can. But it has motivated my business, it has motivated me, and it hasbeen a source of really incredible people success within my business and my world.

    Bob’s Red Mill shares profits with its employees. What does that mean?

    Long ago, I sat down with the profits, as it became obvious that we had a place in the world for our whole grain business, and I fashioned a system of paying back some of those profits to all my employees on a regular basis.

    I worked out of a formula of the number of hours worked and how long they’d been with me, various conditions that fit the situation.

    I divided the profit, about 25 percent of it, back to my employees on a separate paycheck. There’s nothing I can think of that surprised my people more than to receive an extracheck with their share of the profits for the last month.
  2. FryDaddyJr

    FryDaddyJr Member

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